Applications for Federal Student Aid
To be considered for need-based financial aid, students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. The FAFSA for the upcoming academic year—summer, fall, winter and spring quarters—becomes available on Jan. 1 at fafsa.gov. Students are encouraged to use their Personal Identification Number (PIN) to provide the required signature when completing the FAFSA online. If a PIN was not secured previously, students apply for the PIN from within the FAFSA website as they are completing the application. Be sure to list Seattle University’s Federal School Code—003790—in the appropriate section of the FAFSA so results will be sent to the university.
While FAFSAs are accepted and processed year-round, graduate students are strongly encouraged to have their FAFSAs filed by Feb. 1, or as soon after that date as possible, whether for summer quarter or the academic year starting in September. The earlier a file is completed the more likely funding will be available on the first official day of the term as published by the Registrar.
Financial need for a school year is defined as the difference between the cost of attendance at Seattle University and the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that is calculated from information provided on the FAFSA. Student Financial Services prepares a financial aid award to meet as much of a student’s need as possible. That award may include a combination of scholarships, grants, work-study and loans. Descriptions of the federal, state and institutional aid programs for which students are eligible are noted below. To be eligible for most financial aid programs students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Federal unsubsidized loans may supplement the need-based aid up to the full cost of attendance.
Seattle University offers a limited number of scholarships to graduate students. These scholarships are provided in recognition of a student’s ability to enhance our educational community. Scholarship renewal is based on scholarship specifics, satisfactory academic progress and, in some cases, continued need.
Marylou Wyse Scholarship
The Marylou Wyse Scholarship is awarded through the Graduate Admissions Office in consultation with the academic departments for select programs that vary year to year. This is a limited need-based scholarship that is awarded for two years. Students must maintain continuous enrollment of at least three credits per term but with a minimum of 12 credits per nine-month academic year. To be eligible students must complete the FAFSA each year.
Graduate Diversity Scholarship
The Graduate Diversity Scholarship is a limited scholarship available to outstanding candidates from under-represented populations. Students must be admitted into one of the following graduate programs: Education (Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Administration, Pre-service teacher certification—MIT only), Nursing and Theology and Ministry. Students should contact their department to apply.
Catholic School Special Tuition Grant
Eligible full-time religious and lay teachers and principals of Catholic schools under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Seattle may apply for this grant. Master in Teaching (MIT) and Doctor of Education (EdD) students are not eligible. The grant cannot be used to pay for MIT or EdD credits. Grants pay half of regular tuition for eligible graduate education courses and the student is responsible for the remainder of the charges. The application for this grant becomes available on April 1 preceding the upcoming academic year. Go to seattleu.edu/sfs to download the form. Once there, select Printable Forms from the Quick Links on the left side of the page, then select Scholarships and Grants to find the application form and follow the instructions included on the form.
Matteo Ricci Consortia Schools Tuition Remission
Full-time employees of the six Matteo Ricci College consortia schools may be eligible for grant funds of up to 85 percent of tuition. Eligibility for the grant is determined by SU’s Matteo Ricci College.
Program Specific Scholarships
Several graduate departments and programs offer program-specific scholarships and/or assistantships. Scholarships are generally limited; some awards may be based on need and some may be renewable. Students should contact their departments for specific information about availability, eligibility and application procedures.
Outside scholarships are scholarships students bring with them to Seattle University. Students must inform Student Financial Services if they are receiving outside scholarships because they must be included in the resources available to meet costs. These scholarships then are listed as Private Outside Scholarships on the Seattle University Award Letter.
Outside scholarships that have been announced by their donors for which SU students may be eligible are posted at the Student Financial Services’ website—seattleu.edu/sfs—in the Scholarship Search Quick Link on the left side of the screen. The search features on the right side of the screen allow students to narrow their search to scholarships that are relevant to their interests.
Students participating in Master’s degree programs in special education or teaching may qualify for a federal TEACH Grant. In return for receiving a TEACH Grant, a student agrees to serve: as a highly qualified full-time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which they received a TEACH Grant.
Important: Failure to complete the service obligation in full will result in conversion of the TEACH grants to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan with interest charged from the date the grant was originally disbursed. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan must be repaid to the U.S. Department of Education.
These are low-interest student loans that must be repaid.
Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
Stafford loan repayment begins six months after a student leaves school or drops below half-time enrollment. A Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford loan is limited by the student’s financial need and does not accrue interest during enrollment or the 6-month grace period. The interest rate for 2009–2010 is 6.8 percent. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is limited by the program’s annual and lifetime limits and by the student’s cost of attendance. The unsubsidized loan begins to accrue interest after the first disbursement; the interest rate is 6.8 percent. Stafford Loan terms and benefits are explained during the student’s required online entrance counseling session and are also included on the master promissory note the student signs before loan proceeds are disbursed.
If you are a first-time Federal Direct Stafford Loan borrower, you must complete an online entrance counseling session and a master promissory note before your loan can be disbursed. The Missing Documents Letter that came in the packet with your award letter has additional details concerning these two requirements. You can also go to My Documents in the Communication section of the student menu at SUOnline for these details. While we strongly encourage you to complete both documents online (where you’ll use the same personal identification number—PIN—that you use to sign your FAFSA), if you’re unable to do so, contact our office for a paper version of the information.
Once your financial aid file is complete and the appropriate documents have been completed, your loan funds will be disbursed to your student account each quarter, provided you are registered at least half-time. For graduate students, this means at least three credits each term.
For 2009–2010 a 1.5 percent origination fee will be charged for each Direct Stafford Loan before it is disbursed to your student account. However, that amount will be decreased by a 1 percent rebate for presumed on-time payments when your loan enters repayment so the net fee will be .05 percent. For example, if your loan is for $1,000, $995 will be disbursed to your student account.
Annual and aggregate loan limits are shown in the chart below.
Loan Limit Maximum Limits
|Graduate & Professional Students
|All Years of Study
Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate Students (Grad PLUS)
As a graduate student, you may be eligible to borrow up to the amount of your total cost of education (as certified by Student Financial Services) less any financial aid you have been awarded. The Grad PLUS Loan is a non-need-based loan, which has a fixed interest rate of 7.9 percent. A fee of 2.5 percent will be deducted from the awarded amount before the loan is disbursed to your account. Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed for the academic year. For an academic year loan for three quarters (fall, winter and spring), repayment begins 60 days after the spring quarter disbursement in March. In-school deferment is available by contacting the Direct Loan Service Center at (800) 848-0979 to request a deferment.
As part of the Grad PLUS Loan application process, you must complete a FAFSA, which will determine initial eligibility for the PLUS Loan and also for Federal Direct Stafford Loan funding. While not mandatory, you are strongly encouraged to take advantage of your annual Federal Direct Stafford Loan eligibility before applying for a Graduate PLUS Loan because the terms and conditions of the Direct Loan are better than those for the Graduate PLUS Loan.
To apply for a PLUS Loan, go to seattleu.edu/sfs and click on Printable Forms in the Quick Links on the left side of the screen. Select PLUS Loan Forms and download and print the PLUS Loan Request for Graduate Students. This form includes information about who is eligible to apply, how the loan is processed and authorizes the required credit check. Once completed, submit the form to Student Financial Services where your eligibility will be verified and your information sent on to the U.S. Department of Education where the absence of adverse credit will be verified.
If approved to receive the loan and a first time borrower in this program, you will be required to complete an entrance counseling session and sign a master promissory note (which you can do electronically using your FAFSA PIN) before funds will be released to your student account. Both can be done online by logging in to SUOnline and going to My Documents in the Communication section of the student menu and following the instructions found there.
Private Educational Loans
If you choose to pursue other financing options, there are many private educational loan programs through which you may be approved to borrow up to your total cost of education minus any financial aid you have been awarded. Eligibility to receive these loans is based on credit-worthiness as determined by the specific lender to which you apply. To ensure that you have the amount you need at the time you need it:
- Contact our office if you need help determining how much you are eligible to borrow.
- Unless you specifically instruct otherwise, we certify loans to be evenly disbursed over the quarters you indicated on your loan application. So, if you know you will have uneven costs, be sure to tell us so your loan can be awarded and disbursed to your student account accordingly.
- If you borrow more than the total due on your student account, the remaining balance will be refunded to you.
- Plan ahead. Request loans for the entire academic year at one time. It can take up to three weeks after the loan is approved to receive your loan funds and each separate application may impact your credit score.
We will certify your private educational loan from any lender you select, regardless of whether or not you have chosen to apply for federal loans or other financial aid. However, we recommend that you look at the federal loans first and carefully compare rates, terms and benefits offered with any private loan you’re considering because the federal loans generally have better borrower benefits and repayment terms and conditions.
Federal Perkins Loan
This low interest loan is very limited and is not included in initial awards to graduate students. Graduate students interested in this loan should contact Student Financial Services to be placed on the waiting list should funding become available.
Private Educational Continuing Education Loans
Several lenders provide loans for students who are not seeking a degree (non-matriculated) or students who are enrolled less than half-time. These loans are generally called Continuing Education Loans and may be researched on the Web through any standard search engine.
Private Lender Direct to Consumer (DTC) Loans
Some private lenders will make loans directly to you without contacting our office to verify how much you are able to borrow without affecting your other financial aid. We strongly encourage you to talk with us before taking out one of these loans because you may be eligible for other financial aid, including additional federal loans or certified private educational loans.
Work study is not included in initial awards for graduate students because funding is limited. Graduate students interested in work study should contact Student Financial Services. If funds are available,
graduate students may be considered for these programs:
On-Campus Federal Work Study
This need-based work program is federally funded. Students may work up to 20 hours per week at a position on campus and are paid monthly for hours worked.
Off-Campus Federal Work Study (Community Service)
The need-based Federal Work Study Community Service program provides students with off-campus employment in jobs that foster career-related development skills through community service work, offering positions in approved non-profit businesses as well as in government agencies.
Off-Campus State Work Study
This need-based work program is state-funded with first priority given to Washington residents. Participating students may work up to 19 hours per week in off-campus positions. Opportunities are available in approved private businesses, non-profit organizations and in city and county government.
Students who are not awarded need-based work-study but who want to work while attending Seattle University can use the university’s free job listing service. Jobs are posted on the Redhawk Network at http://webapps.seattleu.edu/RedhawkNetwork/
Veterans’ Educational Benefits
Selected academic programs at Seattle University are approved by the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board’s State Approving Agency for enrollment of persons eligible to receive educational benefits under Title 38 and Title 10 U.S. Code.
If you will be receiving Veterans Education Benefits and this is your first quarter at Seattle University, you must see the VA Certifying Official in Student Financial Services to set up your benefits.
Your official source for information about all VA educational benefits is www.GIBILL.va.gov. You can also call the Veterans Administration at (888) GIBILL-1 (888-442-4551).
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
Federal regulations mandate that you must make satisfactory academic progress toward completing your degree in order to receive federal financial aid. This requirement applies to your entire period of attendance at Seattle University, even though you may not have received financial aid for some periods of enrollment. Satisfactory progress is reviewed at the end of each spring quarter. While you will be notified if you have not maintained satisfactory progress, it is your responsibility to monitor your own progress.
You must complete the number of credits for which you received financial aid, based on the “Enrollment Status” line of your award letter and the chart below:
||Six credits each quarter
||Three credits each quarter
|Less than 1/2-time
||Fewer than three credits each quarter
Grades of “I” (incomplete), “W” (withdrawal), “HW” (hardship withdrawal), “F” (failed, including unsatisfactory), “M” (grade not received from instructor), “CR or NC” (the results of credit by examination), ungraded and “Y” (audited class) do not count as “passed” credits.
In general, graduate students must maintain a minimum, cumulative GPA of 3.0. Grades earned at other schools, the results of credits by examination, “M” (grade missing) and “Y” (audited class) are not computed in SU grade point averages.
If you are a graduate student, you’re eligible to receive financial aid until you have 1) attempted a maximum of 150 percent of the minimum number of credits required for your degree, or 2) completed all the course work required to receive your degree. Incomplete grades, withdrawals, failed classes, and repeated courses count toward maximum credits attempted.
If you are an Alaska State Loan graduate borrower, you must enroll for a minimum of 6 credits per quarter and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.
If you fail to meet satisfactory progress standards, you may appeal based on special circumstances that prevented normal progress. An appeal must be submitted in writing and include a statement or explanation of the special circumstances that prevented you from passing sufficient credits, achieving an acceptable grade point average or completing a degree within the maximum time frame, including supplemental documentation to support your case. In the case of maximum time frame, you should include a letter of support and degree completion plan from an academic advisor. In general, pursuit of a second major or degree or failure to meet other progress standards does not warrant an exception to the policy. You may also appeal to rectify deficiencies through a summer contract to take coursework without the benefit of Seattle University sponsored assistance in the summer. Note that grade point deficiencies can be rectified only through coursework taken at Seattle University.
All appeals are evaluated by the counseling staff in Student Financial Services. Students should contact their assigned counselors or they can see a walk-in counselor if they have questions or want to initiate an appeal.
Cost of Attendance 2010–11
Seattle University uses the following figures to determine the annual cost of attendance for a full-time student:
|Average Loan Fee
Note: The amount shown is for illustrative purposes only. Actual tuition will be based on the per credit rate for each program. Refer to the Tuition and Fees section in this Catalog for more information.
When preparing your financial aid award, we subtracted your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as calculated from the information you provided on your FAFSA from your estimated cost of attendance to determine your need. To see what costs and EFC we used to prepare your financial aid award, log on to SUOnline and click on “My Cost of Attendance/Estimated Family Contribution” in the “Financial Information” category.
Dropping or Withdrawing from a Class
Dropping or Withdrawing from Some, But Not All, of Your Classes
If you drop or withdraw from some, but not all, of your classes at Seattle University, adjustments may need to be made to your financial aid depending on several factors. Therefore, while general information about dropping or withdrawing from classes is given below, we strongly encourage you to contact a financial aid counselor in Student Financial Services before you actually drop or withdraw from any classes.
In general, if you drop or withdraw from some of your classes after classes begin, but are still enrolled for at least one credit, and your federal and/or state financial aid has been transmitted to your student account, that aid will not be affected for the quarter in progress as long as you met the original eligibility requirements. However, if you drop or withdraw from one or more classes during the add/drop period, institutional aid for the quarter will be withdrawn if you drop below full-time. Thereafter, your institutional aid will be reduced proportionally to the reduction in credits and the tuition refund level in effect at the time you drop or withdraw.
Any credit balance that results from dropping or withdrawing from classes will be refunded to you. However, keep in mind that because your eligibility to receive financial aid in subsequent quarters may depend on the number of credits you pass in the quarter in progress—and classes you drop or from which you withdraw do not count as passed—dropping or withdrawing from classes may affect your eligibility to receive financial aid in the future.
If you drop or withdraw from all of your classes after your financial aid has been transmitted to your student account, be sure to see Dropping or Withdrawing From All of Your Classes below.
In general, if you drop or withdraw from some of your classes before you have established eligibility for aid, but are still enrolled at least half-time (3 credits or more as a graduate student), your financial aid will be revised based on your new enrollment status. Again, keep in mind that because your eligibility to receive financial aid in subsequent quarters may depend on the number of credits you pass in the current quarter—and classes you drop or from which you withdraw do not count as “passed”—dropping or withdrawing from classes may affect your eligibility to receive financial aid in the future.
In general, if you drop below half-time enrollment (less than 3 credits as a graduate student) before you have established eligibility for aid, most or all of your financial aid will be canceled. You will, nonetheless, want to come in to talk with a financial aid counselor in Student Financial Services before you drop to less than half-time to be sure you understand the consequences.
Dropping or Withdrawing From All of Your Classes
If you drop or withdraw from all of your courses for the quarter, here is information about how your financial aid—the amount you will receive, the amount that will be withdrawn and returned and your future eligibility—will be affected. Because additional, individual circumstances and information vary widely from student to student, and because dropping or withdrawing from all your classes may have different consequences for financial aid purposes than for academic purposes, we strongly encourage financial aid recipients to see a counselor in the Student Financial Services Office before actually dropping or withdrawing from all classes for the quarter.
Aid for subsequent quarters will be canceled unless you notify our office that you plan to return. You may need to make up credits for the quarter from which you withdrew in order to receive aid again from Seattle University in the future. Be sure to refer to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for more information. The official date of your withdrawal will be the date of an online withdrawal transaction. If you begin attendance but cease to attend classes without notifying the University and your last date of attendance is not documented, the required return of financial aid will be based on attendance for 50 percent of the quarter and you will not be eligible for a tuition refund.
The Student Financial Services Office will determine your eligibility for a refund of charges for the quarter based on your official date of withdrawal as described above. Be sure to refer to the published academic calendar for refund periods and amounts.
According to federal regulations, federal funds must be returned to federal programs based on the percent of the term remaining after you are no longer enrolled unless you have completed more than 60 percent of the term. If you have completed more than 60 percent of the term, no return of federal funds is required. If you have completed 60 percent or less of the term, the Student Financial Services Office will determine how much of your federal aid was unearned as defined in federal regulations, and then return the unearned aid in the following order:
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
- Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
- Federal Perkins Loan
- Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
- Federal TEACH Grant
- Other Title IV Programs
Seattle University is required to return, on your behalf, the balance of unearned aid to the federal programs. Work study funding is not included in the calculation that determines your refund and you will not be required to repay any work study wages you have received for hours you have worked. You will be responsible for repaying, in accordance with the terms of your promissory note, any balance owed on the federal student loans disbursed to you that is not required to be returned by the university.
If you have received federal student loans while you attended Seattle University, federal law requires that you obtain loan exit counseling information through Seattle University. That counseling will give you information on your loans(s). Loan repayment will begin at the end of your grace period(s) as defined by the promissory note(s) you completed to receive the loans.
Student Financial Services will return Seattle University sponsored aid to its source, based on the University’s tuition refund calendar. For instance, if you will be refunded 50 percent of your tuition costs, then only 50 percent of the Seattle University sponsored financial aid will be applied to your student account.
If most of your tuition costs were covered by financial aid, then most of your refund will be returned to those financial aid programs. This does not apply to any private educational loans you may have received. Repayment of these loans is solely the responsibility of the borrower—you and/or your parent—once the funds have been applied to your student account.
If you paid with cash, check or credit card, the amount refunded will be based on the applicable refund percentage at the time you withdrew. In some cases you may be required to repay federal and/or state grant aid and/or the changes in the amount of financial aid you have earned prior to your complete withdrawal may result in a balance due from you to the university. In these cases, we send a revised student account invoice to let you know of the amount owed as a result of your complete withdrawal. Your future registration will be blocked and transcripts will be withheld until this balance is paid.
Sample Return of Funds calculations can be found by going to seattleu.edu/sfs. Once there, rest the cursor on the Financial Aid tab at the top of the homepage and click on Withdrawing from Some or All of Your Classes from the dropdown menu. Scroll to the bottom of the resulting page and click on the highlighted Sample Return of Funds Calculations link.
Students granted a hardship withdrawal by their dean should keep in mind this withdrawal is for academic purposes only; tuition refunds follow the standard refund policy and are based on the official withdrawal date. A separate petition is required to request an exception to the standard refund policy. These requests are typically approved only if there was a death in the student’s immediate family or the student had an illness or injury that required three or more days of hospitalization.